Improving Climate Model Simulation of Tropical Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature: The Importance of Enhanced Vertical Atmosphere Model Resolution

Harlass, Jan, Latif, Mojib and Park, Wonsun (2015) Improving Climate Model Simulation of Tropical Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature: The Importance of Enhanced Vertical Atmosphere Model Resolution Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (7). pp. 2401-2408. DOI 10.1002/2015GL063310.

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Abstract

A long-standing problem in climate modeling is the inaccurate simulation of tropical Atlantic (TA) sea surface temperature (SST), known as the TA SST bias. It has far-reaching consequences for climate prediction in that area as it goes along, among others, with erroneous precipitation patterns. We show that the TA SST bias can be largely reduced by increasing both the atmospheric horizontal and vertical resolution in a climate model. At high horizontal resolution, enhanced vertical resolution is indispensable to substantially improve the simulation of TA SST by enhancing surface wind stress. This also reduces biases in the upper ocean thermal structure and precipitation patterns. Although, enhanced horizontal resolution alone leads to some improvement in the mean climate, typical bias patterns characterized by a reversed zonal SST gradient at the equator and too warm SST in the Benguela upwelling region are mostly unchanged at a coarser vertical resolution.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/603521
Additional Information: WOS:000353988700042
Keywords: SST bias; Tropical Atlantic; ITCZ; Benguela upwelling
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1002/2015GL063310
ISSN: 0094-8276
Projects: SACUS, PREFACE
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2015 08:22
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2017 08:21
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/27884

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